When the police arrived at a petrol station in the village of Bethoncourt, south of Strasbourg, fifty cars had lined up to fill their tanks.
On Saturday evening, the pumps at a 24hour petrol station stopped working properly and started giving out petrol free of charge, regional daily Vosges Matin reports.
Word quickly got out that petrol was flowing and by 10.00pm there were 30 people gathered around the pumps. Some had even brought jerry cans to collect the petrol.
A witness however called the police to report an unsual gathering around the petrol station.
Police commander Manual Boissière, says he felt "a certain hostility" when his policemen arrived to disperse the crowds.
It’s unclear how much petrol was stolen from the petrol station, which belongs to the company DATS. But police say they have taken down details of drivers who were filing their tanks, they will be summoned to pay part of the bill.